Elizabeth Bishop

(8 February 1911 – 6 October 1979 / Worcester, Massachusetts)

Chemin De Fer - Poem by Elizabeth Bishop

Alone on the railroad track
I walked with pounding heart.
The ties were too close together
or maybe too far apart.

The scenery was impoverished:
scrub-pine and oak; beyond
its mingled gray-green foliage
I saw the little pond

where the dirty old hermit lives,
lie like an old tear
holding onto its injuries
lucidly year after year.

The hermit shot off his shot-gun
and the tree by his cabin shook.
Over the pond went a ripple
The pet hen went chook-chook.

"Love should be put into action!"
screamed the old hermit.
Across the pond an echo
tried and tried to confirm it.


Comments about Chemin De Fer by Elizabeth Bishop

  • Gold Star - 16,729 Points * Sunprincess * (3/9/2014 3:04:00 AM)

    The hermit shot off his shot-gun
    and the tree by his cabin shook.
    Over the pond went a ripple
    The pet hen went chook-chook (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Veteran Poet - 1,053 Points Giorgio Veneto (8/31/2012 10:27:00 AM)

    A smart, elegant poem with bold expression.
    I expect a friend to read it, too. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Lime and Tequila with a Splash of Pineapple (1/22/2008 9:35:00 PM)

    I think this poem is gorgeous. It's marked as one of my favorite. And I'm just a bit in awe/love with the author. (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: together, tree, green, alone, heart



Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003



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